Saturday, March 23, 2013

L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival- Sportsgirl Graduate Showcase...Part 1 The Show

Karen Yang
Koren Wheatley
Monique White
Bernadette Francis
Kathleen Choo
Kathleen Choo
Cesar Chehade
Cesar Chehade
Cesar Chehade
Natasha Fagg
Natasha Fagg
Katherine Choo (left) and Monique White (right)

The Graduates
The 2012 LMFF Sportsgirl Graduate Showcase featured 12 emerging Australian designers from 3 Universities at the forefront of Fashion Design. The Australian retailer has been supporting up and coming designers through their 'Sportsgirls Like' program for ten years. In store now are 2 capsule collections from participants of last year's Showcase Amelia Agosta and Stephanie McPherson.

My little iPhone did the best it could, but to see more from all 12 graduates visit LMFF's site.  The show opened with Nixi Killick's futuristic fabrics and shapes. Hayley Elsaesser followed, showing pieces printed with an assorted of creepy crawlies and even eye balls. I'm predicting Elsaesser's peaked Baseball caps and bright leather skirts, laser cut with bugs, are going to be a huge hit with street smart fashionistas.

Karen Young's bold digital prints were layered with checks and neutrals. Koren Wheatley showed us unisex style to a soundtrack of Hip Hop by Dead Prez, which had my head bopping away as I enjoyed the utilitarian backpacks and beanies. 

Queenslander Monique White wanted to create wearable, stylish pieces that were appropriate for the tropical QLD climate. She gave us volume and strong shoulders in an accessible colour palette of neutrals, navy and red with super chic spots.

Bernadette Francis described her work as sonic, creating sound and movement with sequins, beading and textures. Her pieces were feminine and sexy, in soft tones and floral with split hems and sensual open backs.

Kara Liu invited us to share her love affair with coats, describing them as objects of intimacy and protection.  My favourite look, an oversized white coat teamed with slouchy cobalt blue bag and matching gloves.

Inspired by defensive creatures the ocean, Cesar Chehad opened with structured, wet look pieces, but proved his technique was wearable by combining stiff breast plates with feminine layers in a stunning open-backed navy dress. He closed with another navy piece, high necked and alive with movement, teamed with a purple belt. 

To close the show, Natasha Fagg, winner of the prestigious AINYFF scholarship, soon on her way to London to work with The World of McQueen. The accolade was undisputedly deserved, her dreamy all white collection combining sleek lines with texture in the form of feathers, fringing and metallic tassels. 

All in all it was an inspiring night of fashion with many 'Wow' moments. I was lucky enough to be sitting alongside a very proud RMIT lecturer and her daughter, who knew many of the graduates personally. More than once during the show we turned to each other, wide eyed and blown away by the talent right here in Australia. I wish all the graduates the very best and know that we will see big things from them in the near future. 

Image of graduates via LMFF

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